Survey equates reality TV with the atomic bomb, capital punishment as worst ideas ever

The UK’s Museums and Galleries Month 2008 survey has found that people think reality TV is one of the worst ideas ever, alongside the atomic bomb and capital punishment.

The survey was conducted “by The Campaign for Museums and the 24 Hour Museum,” and “asked what are the best and worst innovations of all time,” according to the 24 Hour Museum, an online museum based in the UK.

The five “worst ideas and innovations in history” were, in order of their horribleness, the atom bomb, reality TV, capital punishment, plastic bags, and credit cards. Those are really equivalent in their awfulness? The atomic bomb, really? And how does reality TV beat plastic bags? It’s not like reality show stars aren’t biodegradable, nor can you take a reality show and pull it over someone’s head and kill them with it.

The people surveyed listed the wheel, the Internet, penicillin, equal rights for women, and the birth control pill as the best innovations. Too bad the mothers of the respondents weren’t aware of the existence of the pill.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.